Increased numbers of young offenders in custody has been highlighted again as a problem affecting the rehabilitation of this group by the chief inspector of prisons.
In an inspection report of Swinfen Hall Young Offender Institution, Anne Owers highlighted that there were too few education and training places and insufficient purposeful activity as a result of the population at the establishment doubling.
She also highlighted that there was a backlog in sentence plans and urged first night procedures to be available to all prisoners.
“The Prison Service must now ensure that implementation of plans for sufficient activity places do not face delays or cutbacks,” said Owers.
Swinfen Hall holds prisoners aged 18 to 25-years-old as a pilot scheme in preparation for the proposed abolition of detention of under 21-s in YOIs.
Inspectors urged the Prison Service to provide sufficient activity for prisoners before extending the model to other prisons.
Despite the concerns, Owers found suicide and self-harm prevention of a high standard, good resettlement provision and a generally safe environment.
While the segregation unit was well-managed, Owers found “serious weaknesses” in recording use of the special cell.